Attendance Procedures & Policies

Procedures and policies regarding student attendance

Submitting a Student Absence

Report an absence through our online attendance form or by calling our attendance office.


Student Attendance Staff

Attendance: When Should I Send My Child To School? 

Procedures for excused absences, check-ins, and check-outs

Excused Absences 

  • Include illness, doctor/dentist appointment, religious holiday, death in the family, suspension, college visit.

Unexcused Absences 

  • Include babysitting, car trouble, power outage; someone in your parking space, traffic, brother or sister is late, missing the bus, oversleeping, truancy, class cutting.

Excusing Absences 

  • A parent/guardian must submit written notes or phone the Attendance Office to excuse absences no later than three days after the absence. Call 703-924-7419 between 7:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. You can also leave a message after hours or submit an absence using our online attendance form. Please identify the student’s complete name and grade level, your name, work and home phone numbers on all notes and phone messages. All notes, emails, and phone calls received after three days will be referred to the Dean of Students.

Excusing Check-ins

  • Written notes are required at the time of check-in. If not, students will be signed in as unexcused and have three days to bring in a note from a parent or guardian. Students checking in more than 20 minutes late, whether excused or unexcused, must report to the Attendance Office first, before going anywhere, even if they arrive during lunch or in between periods. Students who fail to check in will not have their absence excused. A doctor’s/dentist’s note is required for student’s arriving late due to appointments.

Excusing Check-outs

  • Written notes are required to be brought to the Attendance Office before school starts. A pass will be given to the student stating the time the student is to be released from class to go to the Attendance Office. At the Attendance Office, the student will be issued a checkout pass which is kept by the student. Parents picking up students for a checkout must sign them out in the Attendance Office. If the student returns to school that same day, he or she must report to the Attendance Office and check back in before returning to class. Students who fail to check out will not have their absence excused. The school is legally responsible for students during the school day and we need to know when and with whom students are leaving. Students are not to contact their parents via cell phone/text messaging during school hours. Students needing to contact their parent/guardian are to use the phone in the clinic, subschool or the Attendance Office. When a parent or guardian arrives at the Attendance Office to check out their student, they must provide photo identification.

Procedures for When Parents are Out of Town

  • Whenever a parent or guardian is out of town or otherwise unavailable for the school to contact (due to travel, etc.); the parent/guardian must inform the Attendance Office in advance of the name, address, phone numbers (home & work) of the adult in charge of the child during the parent’s absence, who is authorized to excuse absences occurring during this period of time.

Prearranged Absences 

  • Pre-arranged absences can include religious holidays, out of town visits, college visits, etc. Whenever a student knows in advance that he/she will need to miss a day of school, the student must request a pre-arranged absence form. This should be done at least three school days in advance by submitting a note to the Attendance Office, from the parent/guardian, stating the reason for the absence and the exact dates of the absence. After tentative approval is given by the Attendance Office, the student is given a form that must be signed by all of his/her teachers. The student must return the completed form to the attendance Office at least one day in advance of the absence before final approval will be given. Students are expected to make up any missed work.

Excessive Absences 

  • FCPS Regulation 2234 states that “the principal or his or her designee may require a physician’s note in cases of chronic or long-term illness.” Five (5) consecutive and/or twelve (12) cumulative absences are considered “excessive.” A doctor’s note/official documentation is required to excuse any future absences. Any future absences without proper documentation will become unexcused. This includes check-outs from the clinic.

Unexcused Absences and Tardies

  • Academic Credit - Grading is based on work performance and class participation. If a student is absent unexcused, no credit can be earned for those assignments.

  • Skip Days - "Skip days" are prohibited and are unexcused absences.

  • Leaving School Grounds - All Fairfax County Schools have a closed campus policy, which means that every student must remain on the school grounds during the school day- including lunch - unless proper checkout procedures are followed. This includes going to your car to get an item you forgot in the morning. Failure to do so will result in unexcused absences and Saturday School.

  • Truancy - Truancy is against state law. Per FCPS Regulation 2234, the school is required to submit an attendance referral to the Fairfax County truancy officer whenever a student accrues five unexcused absences. Truancy can result in legal action for both the student and the parent.

  • Tardies - Students are considered late to class if they arrive within the first 20 minutes of class; thereafter, they are to be marked absent.

  • Attendance Fraud - to include misrepresentation in written or oral form will be subject to disciplinary action.

Extra-curricular Activity Eligibility

  • Students must be in school the entire day to be eligible to participate in any student activity scheduled on that day. Exceptions to this standard may be made with the prior approval of the principal or her/his designee.


Email us.